The explosion of interest surrounding the Internet of Things presents a truly remarkable opportunity for marketing. The rise of internet-connected life, work and home is fueling growth and innovation across numerous industries–from communication services to manufacturing to healthcare.
What caused the advent of the Internet of Things?
A number of important technology changes have coincided to enable the rise of the Internet of Things, including cheap sensors, inexpensive bandwidth, cheap processing, smartphones, ever-present wireless coverage, big data, open-source technology, IPv6 (a change in addressing).
Growth of interest in IoT
The internet of things is more than refrigerators that remind us to order groceries or tell us the time. IoT products are more relevant, attractive, efficient, useful and smarter than their non-connected products. The internet of things creates data where there hasn’t been before–helping companies build more interesting products and learn how they are being used in order to improve and iterate faster.
Adoption of IoT
[According to an IoT adoption survey]
Over half of the executives (62%) said they had already adopted IoT-based systems or had plans to do so. — BI Intelligence survey of technology executives.
The effect of IoT on industries
- By 2020, over 100 million Internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be in use worldwide up from 2.4 million in 2013, according to On World.
- The wearables market will grow to exceed $1.5 billion in 2014. This is double the current wearables market value in 2013, according to Juniper Research
- The amount of connected cars worldwide will expand more than sixfold to 152 million in 2020 from 23 million in 2013, according to IHS Automotive.
Marketing Opportunities for the Internet of Things
Better data will improve products–helping to build relevance with customers. Businesses will have greater insights into how their products are being used, and this will influence the design and product development process.
Strengthen customer relationships
Companies will have a deeper understanding of their customers, and this understanding will be more actionable than ever before. Actionable results regarding a consumer base will propel companies to build better and deeper relationships with their customers–helping to extend the longevity of these relationships.
Increased demand for innovative products
Internet connected products will spur demand for innovation across industries. Companies positioning themselves well for IoT will be at the forefront for this increased demand for innovative, smart and connected products and environments. What Apple did for the mobile phone will take place with other product categories, and companies realizing the demand for IoT innovation will gain tremendous favor with consumers and B2B buyers.
Smarter, more relevant advertising
Products will be internet connected. Constant network accessibility will transform the consumer, B2B buyer, the manufacturer and the marketer. Advertisers will be able to tap into the interests of buyers just as manufacturers will do and create more relevant experiences–helping to attract and convert potential buyers.
More companies will become tech/software companies
The internet of things will create more demand for software and the data produced by IoT and connected products. As more companies become tech or software focused new marketing or revenue opportunities will emerge.
IoT marketing tactics
Marketing for IoT can be smarter and more relevant.
- Use product data as a form of customer feedback to innovate products and communications.
- Create more content to educate customers and buyers relating to their pain points, goals, interests and needs.
- Use marketing automation and lifecycle marketing to build more relevant marketing communications that is smart, data-driven and relevant.
- Move your data out of isolated silos and learn from larger trends present in your company’s owned interactions with prospects, leads, customers, advocates and past customers.
- Communicate the possibilities to buyers. Companies will need to recreate marketing and sales content as they embrace IoT and a more connected world. As products and services are transformed or disrupted, brands will need to repackage themselves and their content to take advantage of these opportunities.
- As IoT expands product offerings and product benefits, these opportunities will need to be communicated throughout company messaging–web, content, advertising and key positioning concepts.
- IoT may “remake” some companies, which will provide brands an opportunity to refresh their image and interactions with customers.
- Software will provide new ways for brands to interact with customers, additionally the number of possible interactions with customers will expand throughout the lifecycle–from marketing to sales to usage.
- Expand the capabilities of CRMs to gain behavior data or communication interactions to nurture relationships with prospects, leads, customers, advocates, etc.
- Solution partnerships are going to be increasingly important for IoT offerings, since their is a complex mix of services, manufacturing/hardware, sensors, software and other technologies. Build content that helps attract and achieve solution partnerships. Use these partnerships to build visibility for your products.
- How The Internet Of Things Is Transforming Manufacturing – Forbes, 2014 – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ptc/2014/07/01/how-the-internet-of-things-is-transforming-manufacturing/
- On World: http://onworld.com/news/100-Million-Internet-Connected-LED-Lights-by-2020.html
- IHS Automotive – http://www.autonews.com/article/20140110/OEM06/301109910/the-race-to-market-the-connected-car
- Goldman Sachs, The Internet of Things: Making sense of the next mega-trend